Return to: Capstone Research: Dissertation or Doctoral Study
The final phase of study for Walden Ph.D. students begins with the preparation of a dissertation proposal, which is affirmed in an oral presentation and then followed by the execution of a research study. Walden does not favor any particular research approach or methodology, but does require that the dissertation reflect a high level of conceptual manipulation and contribute original knowledge to the field. Through the dissertation, students demonstrate their knowledge of research design and their ability to interpret research findings, both orally and in writing.
For more details on the dissertation, refer to the dissertation information pages at the Center for Research Quality .
For help writing the dissertation, visit the online Walden Writing Center.
Doctoral students who want to graduate in a specific quarter must plan their program carefully as follows or their graduation date will be delayed:
- Begin planning for program completion at least 13 months in advance of the anticipated graduation date
- Adhere to the recommended timing for submitting forms and information
The dissertation process requires Ph.D. students to participate in a learning platform classroom. Students need to complete the process by the close of business (5 p.m. Central time) on the final business day of the quarter in which they intend to graduate. Completing the process means that the dissertation has received final approval from the chief academic officer of the university.
The following table can be used to plan the final months of the dissertation process, based on the quarter in which the student intends to graduate.
|Quarter of Intended Graduation
||Submission to Form and Style
||Dissertation Oral Presentation
||Final Dissertation and Rubric Submitted
||Abstract Submitted for Chief Academic Officer Review
Note on commencement deadlines: Students who want to participate in the summer commencement ceremony must have their dissertation approved by the chief academic officer no later than the last business day of the spring quarter. Students who want to participate in the winter commencement ceremony must have their dissertation approved by the chief academic officer no later than the last business day of the fall quarter.
Registering for Dissertation Credits
Students enrolled in a KAM-based program will automatically be placed in SBSF 7100 - Research Forum or EDUC 8800 - Research Forum with the chair of their dissertation committee. They will remain registered in SBSF 7100 or EDUC 8800 for the duration of their dissertation process. The registrar’s office will assign the appropriate dissertation credits when the final academic audit is complete.
Students enrolled in a course-based and some mixed-model programs must register for a total of 20 dissertation credits. Registration for dissertation credits takes place during the regular course registration period. After students initially register for the dissertation course, they are automatically registered for the course until the dissertation is formally approved by the chief academic officer. Students who have an approved dissertation supervisory committee may register for dissertation credits during any quarter in which they are working on the proposal and dissertation. Students who have only a committee chair may register for the dissertation course, but they will not be able to submit their proposal for review until they have an approved committee. Students with specific questions about their programs should contact their academic advisor.
My Doctoral Research (MyDR)
My Doctoral Research (MyDR) is a new management tool for doctoral students who are in the dissertation or doctoral study phase of their programs. Currently available to Ph.D. in Education and Ph.D. in Health and Health Studies students, MyDR offers a secure repository for dissertation documents, facilitates communication between students and committee reviewers, provides a historical archive of faculty feedback, and distributes automatic notifications of approvals and next steps to students and committee members. The MyDR tool is accessible through the Blackboard classroom. Training materials are available on the Center for Research Quality website.